IPAPA and the Wawasee Paint-Out

Art En Plein Air


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Donna Shortt took this photo of the breaking day on July 13th, at Lake Papakeechie, from an upstairs bedroom at my family’s cottage.  Yep, up at dawn.  These IPAPA painters barely pause for breakfast.

She, Pam Newell, Dave Voelpel, Leanna Arnold, and I were there for the annual Indiana Plein Air Painters Association paint-out at Lake Wawasee, in northern Indiana.  IPAPA people dotted the area lakes’ landscapes for the event, thick as the threatening clouds.  They hunkered under sun hats, umbrellas, and shelters, undaunted.  When they couldn’t find an open (or free) lake view to paint they found flower gardens, street-view scenes of cottages, and crowded shoreside views peopled with the backsides of sailing students.

Try to say that a few times, and you’ll understand their frustration.

Pam Newell, "The Red Cottage," oil on panel

Pam Newell, http://www.pnewellart.com, “The Red Cottage,” oil on panel

The site’s the thing–en plain air painters (think:  in plain air) need a place to stand for a couple of hours. That’s about all they need, they bring everything else with them.

Here’s hoping more Lake Wawasee residents open up their shoreside lawns, their unparalleled views, their access gates for these professional artists, next year.  Lake Wawasee can be a wild and wonderful model on a stormy day, and the weekend of July 12th was brilliant with weather.

Donna Shortt, "The Red Cottage," oil on panel

Donna Shortt, http://www.dshortt.com, “The Red Cottage,” oil on panel

The IPAPAs shown here were working  Lake Papakeechie (off the tail end of Wawasee), with its more intimate water views.  And at least some of the other IPAPAs found painting space near water–Saturday night’s pizza party, at the Wawasee Yacht Club, sported a few lake-themed paintings.  Despite the paucity of water scenes, easels wound around the yacht club yard, blooming with high quality impressions of flowers, boats, and grand old homes.  IPAPA member Dave Voelpel, in a reverent tone, called it “Museum quality work.”

Dave Voelpel at work on a watercolor

Dave Voelpel at work on a watercolor

Leanna Arnold, oil on canvas

Leanna Arnold, oil on canvas

The weekend event ended with a show at Lake Wawasee’s South Shore Golf Club on Sunday, July 13th.  Check IPAPA’s Facebook page for the next group paint-out, or go to the website at http://www.inpainters.org.

Leanna Arnold and I are both new IPAPA members.  She took two of her fresh paintings for the pizza party’s  group display, while I left my one unfinished start at the cottage.  Her abstracted rendition of Lake Papakeechie, shown here, was received with interest.

Leanna painted a total of three canvasses on Saturday and Sunday.  Look closely at the photo of Dave and his watercolor, and you’ll see her painting on the dock, down by the lake.  Examples of her earlier work can be seen on this blog;  go to the January, 2013 archives.

Plein air painters somehow manage to get paintings finished and ready to sell inside a matter of hours.  From what I’ve seen in the few months I’ve been paying attention to these intrepid, on-site, outdoor artists, they carry frames with them and come prepared to deal with anything nature throws at them–including the art loving, art buying public.

Laura's hour-and-a-half start

Laura’s hour-and-a-half start

Here’s mine–an hour or so’s start.

Ah, but I was hosting.  Yes, that’s it.  I was a student last weekend, learning from these masters but not at all in their class.

One thing I’ve learned about painting in the open air is that I work faster, more intuitively.  There’s no time to wallow in angst.

But I need more time.  I’ll have to go back next year, and finish this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Voelpel at work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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